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Social Psych Final Exam Short Answer Notes.doc

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PSYC 2120
Jennifer Steele

PSYC 2120 – Social Psychology Final Exam Short Answer Notes 1. Hindsight bias • Hindsight bias – the tendency to exaggerate, after learning an outcome, one’s ability to have foreseen how something turned out. Also known as the I-knew-it- all-along phenomenon • Think you already knew something once it is presented to you 2. Theories and hypotheses • Theory: an integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events • Hypotheses: Testable predictions about the relationship that may exist between events • Test the hypotheses, refine the theory • A good theory effectively summarizes many observations, and makes clear predictions that we can use to confirm or modify the theory, generate new exploration, and suggest practical applications 3. Social comparisons • We compare ourselves with others who are similar on important attributes or dimensions (or sometimes anyone who is around) • Compared to homeless feel rich, compared to Bill Gates feel poor • We compare ourselves to others when there is no objective standard • Downward social comparisons can make us feel better • Upward social comparisons can make us feel worse, and can sometimes inspire us • Lockwood and Kunda study, first year students compared to exceptional student and fourth year students compared to exceptional students. Viewed themselves differently, first years felt good and had hope, fourth year knew they would never measure up to superstar student 4. Self-esteem • A person’s overall self-evaluation or sense of self-worth • Can measure with Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale for explicit self-esteem (conscious) • Implicit self-esteem measured with IAT (automatic) • Self-esteem depends on whether or not we believe we have traits that make us attractive to others, and not necessarily on the traits that we say we value most 5. Unrealistic optimism • Believe that good things will happen to you, and bad will not • Upside: promotes self-efficacy, health, and well-being (but need a dash of realism) • Downside: may not adequately prepare for the worst 6. Self-fulfilling prophecies • A belief that leads to its own fulfillment • Have an expectation about another person, acting differently towards that person causes that person to behave in line with the expectation • Your thoughts lead themselves to come true 7. Judgmental overconfidence • The tendency to overestimate the accuracy of one’s beliefs, even when it’s wrong • Reclassify previous errors as non-errors • Confirmation bias – the tendency to search for information that confirms our preconceptions • Remedy for overconfidence – beware of others’ confidently stated positions (as well as our own) • Try to think of reasons you might be wrong • Prompt feedback 8. Heuristics (mental shortcuts) • Heuristic: simple, efficient thinking strategies or rules of thumb • Availability heuristic – the strategy of judging the likelihood of something or occurrence on the basis of the ease with which they can bring it to mind • Norbert Schwarz study – think of 6 times acted assertively (easy to do) • Some think 12 times acted assertively • Imagineability and vividness impact availability heuristic • A car accident vividly seems like it will happen, statistically it won’t • Representative heuristic – the strategy of judging the likelihood of things by how well they match a typical case • Is Linda a bank teller or is it more likely she is a bank teller and active in the feminist movement? • Want to say b, but has
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